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University of Bath

University of Bath
Motto Generatim discite cultus (Latin. Virgil, Georgics II)
Motto in English "Learn each field of study according to its kind"
Established 1966
Type Public
Endowment £4.18 million[1]
Chancellor Lord Tugendhat
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell
Students 13,959[2]
Undergraduates 9,913[2]
Postgraduates 4,046[2]
Location Bath, England, UK
51°22.6′N 2°19.55′W / 51.3767°N 2.32583°W / 51.3767; -2.32583Coordinates: 51°22.6′N 2°19.55′W / 51.3767°N 2.32583°W / 51.3767; -2.32583
Campus Suburban
Colours      Bath Stone[3]
Affiliations 1994 Group
Universities UK
Website www.bath.ac.uk
University of Bath Logo

The University of Bath (informally known as Bath University, or simply Bath) is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966. The Sunday Times has ranked Bath as the 5th best university in the United Kingdom[4] and awarded the institution the title of ‘University of the Year 2011/12’.[5] In the latest Research Assessment Exercise released in December 2008, two thirds of Bath's individual subject submissions are ranked in the top ten nationally, including over a third in the top five.[6]

The university is a member of the 1994 Group of research-led British universities, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, the European Quality Improvement System, the European University Association, and Universities UK.



The University of Bath can trace its roots to a technical school established in Bristol 100 years earlier, the Bristol Trade School of 1856. In 1885 the school became part of the Society of Merchant Venturers and was renamed the Merchant Venturers' Technical College (whose alumni include the physicists Paul Dirac and Peter Higgs), an institution founded as a school in 1595. Meanwhile, in the neighbouring city of Bath, a pharmaceutical school, the Bath School of Pharmacy, was founded in 1907. This became part of the Technical College in 1929.

In 1949, the college came under the control of the Bristol Education Authority and was renamed the Bristol College of Technology, which was subsequently changed again, in 1960, to the Bristol College of Science and Technology when it became one of ten technical colleges under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education. The college was mainly housed in the former Muller's Orphanage at Ashley Down, Bristol, which still houses part of the City of Bristol College whilst the remainder has been converted into residential housing.

In 1963, the government completed an inquiry into the state of higher education in the United Kingdom. This was known as the Robbins Committee report. It was this report that paved the way for the college (along with a number of other institutions) to assume university status.

Although the grounds of Kings Weston House, in Bristol, were briefly considered — which then, and until 1969, accommodated the College's School of Architecture and Building Engineering — the City of Bristol was unable to offer the expanding college an appropriately sized single site. Following discussions between the College Principal and the Director of Education in Bath, an agreement was reached to provide the college with a new home in Claverton Down, Bath, on a greenfield site overlooking the city of Bath.

Construction of a purpose-built campus in Bath began in 1964, with the first building, now known as 4 South, completed in 1965, and the Royal Charter was granted in 1966. Over the subsequent decade, new buildings were added as the campus took shape. A campus in Oakfield, Swindon, was opened in 2000.

In November 1966, the first degree ceremony was held at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.

Discoveries from city records reveal that there were plans in the mid-19th Century to build a college of the University of Oxford on the very same site, which would have resulted in a university of a very different character. Such plans, however, did not come to fruition.

The university logo features the so-called Gorgon's head which is taken from charges on the University's coat of arms. The emblem evokes Bath's Roman past, with its fusion of Sul, local goddess of hot springs (probably identical with the Brythonic and Gallic goddess Sul/Sulla – 'The Bright One') and Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, leading to the creation of Sulis-Minerva, the patroness goddess of Bath – perhaps an apt symbol for an English academic institution with strong European links. Originally from the pediment of the Roman Temple of Sulis Minerva, the male face may represent a local or Gallic/Celtic variation of the classical mythological gorgon Medusa, as found on the aegis and shield of Athena/Minerva.[7]

  Campus and facilities

  The Parade, a central pedestrian thoroughfare connecting most academic blocks

  Main campus

The university's main campus is located on Claverton Down, two kilometres from Bath. The campus is compact; it is possible to walk from one end to the other in fifteen minutes.

Architectural plans of the university show that the design involved the separation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, with road traffic on the ground floors and pedestrians on a raised central thoroughfare, known as the Parade. Buildings would line the parade and student residences built on tower blocks rise from the central thoroughfare.

Such plans were mostly adhered to. At the centre of the campus is the Library and Learning Centre, a 24/7 facility offering computing services, information and research assistance as well as books and journals. A number of outlets, including restaurants, bars and fast-food outlets, plus three banks, a union shop, a small supermarket and an oriental supermarket, as well as academic blocks, are housed around the parade. Buildings are named based on their location relative to the library - 1 East, 2 East and so forth based on their distance from the library with the same applying to the south and west. Odd-numbered buildings are on the same side of the parade as the library, and even-numbered buildings are on the opposite side.

Buildings along the east-west axis are mostly directly accessible from the parade, which is generally considered to be "level two", but later additions, such as 7 West, 9 West, 3 West North and 8 East, follow this rule less strictly. 7 West is generally only accessible via 5 West or 9 West, and 3 West North, 9 West and 8 East have entrances at ground level at varying distances from the main parade. Buildings on the south of the campus, 1 South to 4 South, are accessible via roads and pedestrian walkways by the university lake and gardens.

Buildings, like many so-called plate glass universities, were constructed in a functional, modernistic style using concrete, although such designs were later derided for lacking the charm of the Victorian red-brick universities or the ancient and medieval ones. In Bath, there is a particular contrast between the concrete campus and the Georgian style architecture of the World Heritage City of Bath.

The eastern part of the campus is dominated by the Sports Training Village, built in 1992 and enhanced in 2003 with an extension.

The northern perimeter of the university is bounded by student residences Westwood, Eastwood, Brendon Court, Polden Court (Postgraduate students), Solsbury Court, Marlborough Court and Woodland Court. The original plan for students to be housed in tower blocks above the parade continues with a small number of rooms (110) in Norwood House. However, the second tower block, Wessex House, now hosts a number of offices rather than residences.

The university owns buildings in the City of Bath, mostly student residences dotted around town, although Carpenter House is also home to a life-long learning centre and a business facility (the Innovation Centre).

University of Bath (Claverton Down Campus)

Major campus development continues, including the construction of further Arts facilities which are due to begin in 2013.

Completed projects include:

  • 3 West North (teaching rooms) in 2005;
  • 4 South annexe (research facilities) August 2007;
  • Woodland Court, with 353 study bedrooms, September 2008;
  • 4 West, complete with Cafe, March 2010;
  • A new Student Centre, October 2010
  • The East Building, a multifunction building (Office and teaching rooms), May 2011

The university continually upgrades its Claverton Down campus with new teaching blocks. A proposal to move the boundary of the green belt from where it crosses the campus to its edge, to facilitate further development, was agreed in October 2007 by the local council following a public inquiry. In July 2005, building 3 West North (officially opened on 27 October) was completed. The deconstruction of the asbestos-contaminated 4 West was completed in mid-2005 and the new 4 West building is being constructed, part of which was opened in September 2009. This included a new easily accessible centre for Student Support Services and a cafe. The remainder of 4 West opened in April 2010 and provides additional teaching and office space. Mathematical Sciences is one department who moved into this space.

The ICIA Arts Complex is planning to add a new building adjacent to the theatre. Construction work is due to start in September 2013.[8]

Over several years, the grounds have received recognition for their outstanding beauty with awards from Bath in Bloom.[9]

  The University of Bath in Swindon

The university opened a second campus, Oakfield Campus, in 2000 on Marlowe Road Swindon, on a site leased from Swindon Council. Formerly Oakfield School, the refurbishment of the site was jointly funded by the university and Swindon Council. Officially The University of Bath in Swindon, the campus offered undergraduate courses in childhood studies and social work.[10] The campus was closed in the summer of 2008.[11]


Under the Gateway Project, the university had planned to build a major new campus next to the Great Western Hospital and the Coate Water nature reserve. The project had met opposition from environmentalists and locals[12] but had met with Government approval.[13] The University withdrew from the project in March 2007 citing "prevailing planning and funding conditions".[14]

  Academics and courses

The university's major academic strengths have been engineering (particularly electronic and electrical), the physical sciences, mathematics and technology. Today, the university is also strong in management, humanities, architecture and the social sciences. Courses place a strong emphasis on vocational education; the university recommends students to take a one-year industry placement in the penultimate year of the course, although it there is no formal recognition of these placements on students' final degree certificates.

According to the latest government assessments, Bath has 15 subjects rated "excellent" (the highest on the scale). These are: Pharmacy and Pharmacology; Business and Management (AMBA accredited); Architecture and Civil Engineering; Economics; Computer Science; Electronic and Electrical engineering; Mechanical Engineering (IMechE accredited); Mathematics, Statistics and Operational research; Education; Molecular Biosciences; Biosciences; Physics and Astronomy; Politics; Sport; Social Policy and Administration.[15]


According to the Complete University Guide published by The Independent, Bath has 23 out of 26 subjects placed within the top 10 in the UK. In addition, Bath's biosciences, physics, mathematics and statistics all achieve maximum points (24/24) in the latest Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).[16]

On Tuesday 29 May, Guardian published the ‘QS top 50 universities under 50’[17] table for 2012. The rankings are based on the same criteria as for the QS World University Rankings 2011/2012 – size, subject range and research intensity – but with the fourth aspect, age, restricted to those less than 50 years old. The University of Bath was ranked as 12th in the world. Also, on Thursday 31 May, the Times Higher Education published its ‘100 under 50’ table.[18] This table was compiled using the same criteria as their World University Rankings but with the weighting for academic reputation reduced to recognise the fact that older universities have deeper and more established alumni networks. The University were ranked 37th in the THE table.

UK University rankings
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
Sunday Times University Guide 5th 9th 9th 11th 10th[19] 10th[20] 10th[21] 10th 16th[20] 12th[20] 10th[20]
Times Good University Guide 12th[22] 13th[23] 13th[24] 15th[25] 11th[26] 9th[27] 13th 11th=[28] 5th 4th[29] 9th
The Complete University Guide 10th[30] 10th[31] 12th[32] 9th[33] 14th[34] 9th[34]
Guardian University Guide 9th[35] 14th[36] 13th[37] 9th[38] 13th[39] 10th[39] 9th 9th[40] 13th[41] 13th 16th 13th
The Daily Telegraph 9th[42] 18th 18th
World University rankings
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
QS World University Rankings 168th[43] 144th[44] 144th[45] 152nd[46] 145th[47] 153rd[48] 130th[49]
Times Higher Education 251-275th[50] 144th[51] 152nd[52] 145th[53] 153rd[54] 130th[55] 103rd[56]

  Admissions and students

Admissions require top grades at A-Level with twelve applications for each place,[57] the number of applications rising by 16 per cent in 2007.[58]

The university has grown rapidly, particularly in the last few years. As of December 2009, 13,959 students were studying at the university; of whom 9,460 (71%) were undergraduates (full-time and part-time) and 3,758 (29%) were postgraduates.

Over 25% of students are international students (those with non-British domicile), reflecting the university's strong international reputation, with the largest number coming from China (including Hong Kong), Germany and France.[2]

  Sports and recreation

  Sports and TeamBath

TeamBath Logo

The university sports operation is branded TeamBath. The university is host to Team Bath F.C. as well as some of the UK's top Olympic athletes.[59] It has one of the best sports facilities in a United Kingdom university,[60] spread over three main sites: two on the Claverton Down campus, known as the Founder's Hall and Sports Training Village (which also hosts the English Institute of Sport for South West England); and at the Sulis Club, a few miles away in Combe Down.

In 2009, Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Bath to enable Malaysian athletes preparing for the 2012 London Olympics to train there. The University of Bath is not only capitalised as a venue to prepare athletes for the London Olympics but is also a forward base for sports events like the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the badminton Super Series and cycling circuits in Europe.

  Indoor tennis courts at the University

Facilities at the university include a fitness suite, four squash courts, 50-metre indoor swimming pool (The additional 25m pool was demolished in 2011), indoor (110m) and outdoor (400m) athletics tracks, multi-purpose sport halls (including basketball, netball and badminton courts), an eight-court indoor tennis hall, a judo/karate/jitsu dojo and centres for sports science and sports medicine.[61] Outdoor synthetic and natural pitches and grounds cater for football, rugby union, field hockey, lacrosse, and American football. The latest addition to the university's facilities is a Rowing Shed on the River Avon for the Rowing Club, built in 2008. Limited free use of these facilities, with restrictions on times, bookings and frequency of use, can be obtained by students with a membership of the university's sport association.[62] Alternatively, reduced prices are available to students and staff. As of autumn 2011 students had their free access to the university sports facilities, which had been used to attract potential applicants to the university, removed without consultation.[63]

There are also semi-competitive, recreational sporting events. The largest of these is the Interdepartmental Football Cup (IDFC).

  Students' Union

The University of Bath Students' Union (BUSU) has been recognised by the NUS as one of the top three in the UK.[2] It runs over 100 clubs and societies including sports clubs, cultural, arts, interest and faith societies, some notable examples are:

  • Bath RAG collects money for local and national charities, raising over £1 million since 1966[2]
  • The Arts Union (including student theatre, musicals, dance, and various musical groups) performs plays and other shows to audiences both on campus and in the town, with support provided by Backstage Technical Services.[64]
  • The Students' Union faith groups include Buddhist, Christian, Islamic and Jewish societies.
  • Three student media outlets: a fortnightly student newspaper, Bath Impact; a radio station, 1449AM URB;[65] and a television station, Campus TV (CTV).[66]

  Notable alumni

Arts and media

Government, law and public policy




  • Amy Williams: skeleton: Britain's gold medallist at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games — graduated with a Foundation Degree in Sports Performance in 2007
  • Ben Rushgrove: athletics: winner of the T36 100m silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Performance in 2009
  • Marilyn Okoro: athletics: 400m and 800m runner who made her Olympic debut in Beijing and represented England at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Graduated with a degree in French and Politics in 2007
  • Sam Weale: modern pentathlon: represented Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and in July 2010 he became the first British man to win an individual medal at a Modern Pentathlon European Championships, when he won silver in Debrecen, Hungary. Graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Technology in 2005.
  • Richard Mantell: hockey: played for the GB team finishing 5th at the Beijing Olympic Games, he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science in 2004.
  • Pamela Cookey: netball: One of England's world-class players, she was a member of the England team that won bronze at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Pamela is a former TeamBath captain, but now plays for Surrey Storm in the Fiat Netball Superleague. Graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Business Administration in 2008
  • Kate Howey: Judo: one of Britain's greatest judo players, she represented Great Britain at four Olympic Games; winning bronze at Barcelona in 1992 and silver in Sydney. She has also carried the Union Flag, at the head of the Great Britain team in Athens. Graduating from the University of Bath with a Foundation Degree in Sports Performance in 2008.
  • Rachel Howard: badminton: She has won the elite Circuit in 2007/8 also, winning gold in the woman's singles in Sussex 2006 at the ASICS National Elite Open Circuit. In 2006 at the University of Bath's ASICS National Elite Open Circuit Grand Finals, she won silver in the women's singles. Graduated with a BSc (Hons) Psychology in 2007.
  • Barry Scollo: tennis: He graduated from the University of Bath with a degree in Coach Education and Sports performance in 2002, and a BA (Hons) Coach Education and Sports Development in 2004, also an MA Education in 2005. Achieved a career high ATP singles of 1291 in 1999 and went on to be Director of Coaching at the TeamBath Tennis Academy. Named an LTA coach of the year in 2009.
  • Katy Livingston: modern pentathlon: one of Britain's most successful pentathletes, she competed in Beijing Olympics, finishing seventh and won individual bronze at the 2008 World Championships.. Her achievements in 2007, earned her a British Olympic Association's modern pentathlon Olympic athlete of the year award. Graduated with a BA (Hons) Coach Education and Sports Development in 2006.
  • Matt Stevens: Bath and England rugby union player
  • Steve Borthwick: Former Bath and England rugby union player, currently with Saracens.
  • Mark Hardinges: cricketer
  • James Hudson: London Irish and England Saxons
  • Joe El-Abd: RC Toulonnais
  • Gareth Rees: Glamorgan CCC cricketer
  • Rachel Dunn: international English netball player
  • Jon Sleightholme: former English Rugby player
  • Marcus Bateman: British Rower
  • Adam Freeman Pask: British Rower
  • Dennis Bergkamp: Dutch football player

  See also


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  62. ^ "Bathstudent.com". Bathstudent.com. http://www.bathstudent.com/sport/saexplained/facilities/. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  63. ^ UK (2011-02-08). "New student sports membership aims to enhance sports provision at the University". Bath.ac.uk. http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2011/02/08/new-student-sports-membership/. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  64. ^ "BTS-crew.com". BTS-crew.com. http://www.bts-crew.com. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  65. ^ "1449urb.co.uk". 1449urb.co.uk. http://www.1449urb.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  66. ^ "CTV • Uni of Bath Students Union Campus Television". People.bath.ac.uk. http://people.bath.ac.uk/su9ctv/. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 

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